My favorite series is the Game of Thrones books by George R. R. Martin because the world is so rich and detailed and Martin really makes the reader feel for every character, even the ones that seem the most evil. It is a narrative in not judging a book by it's cover,to use the old cliche. Everyone has a story and are the way they are for a reason. It's also not pretty, and I appreciate that in a book. Life isn't fair and neither is Westeros. Along the same lines, the Harry Potter series is my second favorite. J. K. Rowling creates a beautiful world that I know many, many people wish was real. A Casual Vacancy by Rowling is also on my list. I just think she is a wonderful author. The situations in Pagford are utterly mundane but it's also very real and tragic. Again, showing that life isn't fair.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am always reading a novel. I try to vary the genres and authors so I can be exposed to different ideas and different writing styles. I also read gardening and homesteading books for fun.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my Samsung tablet that has apps for the major retailers, Barnes and Noble and Amazon, though I am partial to Barnes and Noble because I like the brick and mortar stores.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the second largest city in Georgia, USA. That implies that I grew up in a big city, but I didn't. It was suburban at best. That alone is very typical of the deep south in the United States - it's very rural. Moving to Atlanta as an adult, I can appreciate urban life, but there's a part of me that will always love the country and country life. The south is also a history-lover's dream.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing short stories as a teenager. I was a HUGE Backstreet Boys fan and many of my stories then were fan fiction staring those heart throbs. I also often wrote down my dreams and tried to expound on them to get a good story. I have been writing short stories off and on for over a decade but I've never been published and until now, have never taken on the challenge of a full length novel.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest (and only) book started as a dream I had a decade ago. It was back before the post-apocalyptic story line became a fad. I wrote a short story based on that dream and received good feedback on it when I posted it to a fiction critique sight, but I can't find that sight any more, and I lost my saved copies. The story has been in my head since then and for years I have been trying to think of how to make it work as a novel with compelling characters and a good plot. A few months ago, it was like the flood gates of ideas opened and the story was all there, just waiting to be put on paper.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing for me is partly about getting the story out of my head. I have to get it out. The other part is wanting to share with the world. I love reading and being immersed in another world. I want to share that with readers and give them a good experience.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I'm spending time with my toddler and watching him grow into an amazing little person (who also loves books, I might add). I also enjoy running, as it clears my head better than anything else, and knitting. I want to start gardening this year.
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